Poll: Have you received files from clients which have already been machine translated before reaching you?
Thread poster: ProZ.com Staff

ProZ.com Staff
Local time: 14:40
SITE STAFF
Sep 21, 2010

This forum topic is for the discussion of the poll question "Have you received files from clients which have already been machine translated before reaching you?".

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Michael Harris  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 23:40
Member (2006)
German to English
No, never Sep 21, 2010

but funnily enough, I had been given one to evaluate the other day and it will have to be re-translated from scratch as it was just a load of rubbish!

 

Lizette Britz  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:40
Member (2008)
English to Spanish
Have a client Sep 21, 2010

I have a client that pretranslates all the text; 99% of it has to be translated again because it does not make sense.

Liz


 

Simon Bruni  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 22:40
Member (2009)
Spanish to English
Once Sep 21, 2010

But I sent it back. I should have told them I am a Spanish to English translator, not a Gibberish to English translator.

 

Cecilia Civetta  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 23:40
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
More than once Sep 21, 2010

Sent them back. Like Simon.

 

Melanie Nassar  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:40
German to English
+ ...
Yesterday Sep 21, 2010

I understood this question a little differently. I didn't receive the machine translation, but I found one that already existed. Strangely enough, I was working on a file just yesterday and in my terminology research, found a machine translation of the same article on the Internet.

A sampleicon_smile.gif
"patients have, for example after pregnancy, blood transfusions or Vortransplantationen antibodies formed"
and unfortunately
"transplant patients must live long (!) after taking medicines that suppress the immune system"

Not that it helped me much, unless it's to show how unsatisfactory MT is.


 

Rebekka Groß (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:40
English to German
Other Sep 21, 2010

only as part of post-editing projects

 

R-i-c-h-a-r-d  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 19:40
Member (2006)
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Yes Sep 21, 2010

The client offered me about 60% of the normal fee to 'edit' previously translated text. When I realised it was MT I refused to do it, so the client offered me the full fee to re-translate the text, which I accepted.

 

María José Domínguez Camba  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:40
English to Spanish
+ ...
yes Sep 21, 2010

a couple of times, from a client that uses MT between Spanish and Galician. The results are surprisingly good because of the type of documents, the volume of previous translations and the proximity of both languages. Of course a human proofreading is always necessary, and sometimes a very amusing experienceicon_smile.gif

 

Miho Ohashi  Identity Verified
Japan
Member (2008)
English to Japanese
+ ...
Yes once Sep 21, 2010

I once accepted a translation job from Spanish to Japanese. Soon after I started working on it, I noticed something was wrong with the source text. I asked my client and they told me that the original text was in Catalan and they had machine-translated it into Spanish...icon_eek.gif

 

gad
United States
Local time: 17:40
Member
French to English
Haven't received any, though was once asked to Sep 21, 2010

I haven't received any files that had previously been machine translated. However, once I had a higher-up at a large corporation contact me to ask me to, on an ongoing basis, "fix" texts that have been previously translated by their translation software. I explained to him that I do not accept that type of work since it is usually more work for me than had I translated it myself but pays less and it is also difficult to guarantee the quality of the translation besides. Of course he didn't respond because he probably thinks he knows better, and I realize that there may be someone out there who will eventually accept such work...then again here's to hoping that he received enough of the same responses to actually have gotten the point. Either way, it just wouldn't be worth it for me, for the reasons I already stated above.

 

Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 23:40
Member
English to French
Yes, more than once Sep 21, 2010

Well, i'll go a bit against the flow.
The task will well defined, it's called post-editing and I know beforehand what the client is up to. The MT system is usually fed upstream with human TMs and terminology. It may not sound exciting, but online help or procedures are not by essence.
When smartly managed, MT projects do speed things and lead to a translation fit-for-purpose. Of course it is not literature, and will never be, even after post-editing. But huge volumes and short times to market demand some kind of industrial strength that human translators can't address. With controlled language, using MT does make sense: the outcome, albeit machine-sounding, can be understood correctly. And the source is already machine-sounding, for MT to be more efficient. I suspect some source texts are written specifically for MT processing.

MT post-editing IS NOT translation: I don't deliver the same service. This task requires another mindset and the goal is not to work out an appealing sentence to convey the idea that voltage should be 0 on pin 25 or that you should click such button before clicking another. I have no shame agreeing that style is bulky compared to what I deliver on standard translation, but it fits the bill: grammar and spelling corrects, meaning accurate and understanding easy. If the end client don't require style as an additional layer of quality, it is their right, and my duty to comply.

MT is totally irrelevant in many other fields like technical manuals or press releases.

And without some upstream human work and an overall volume above say 100k, I don't think it is worthwhile to throw MT in.
MT is not anywhere near producing a human-sounding translation, but the huge amount of translation needed in a more and more global environment makes it a sensible choice in some cases.

My humble experience,
Philippe


 

Muriel Vasconcellos  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 14:40
Member (2003)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Often Sep 23, 2010

Sometimes it's helpful; sometimes it isn't.

When it's too messed up, I translate from scratch because the pay is good.


 

amy_moreno
Local time: 22:40
Spanish to English
+ ...
My experience of MT pieces of work Sep 26, 2010

As most of you have said, in my experience so far, using machine translations is more laborious that translating straight from the origional text.

The most difficult one I had to do was from a student, writing in very poor Spanish with lots of spelling mistakes, who had used an online translator for her letter, putting it into a very weird English/Spanish/nonsense mix! Since it was a farily short letter I actually quite enjoyed translating it into proper English - it was like breaking a code!

However, I would hope that with more difficult and technical translations that I would be able to translate from stratch, using the origional text.


 


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